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Six Key Behaviors of Servant Leaders: Transforming Leadership in a Post-Pandemic World

Six Key Behaviors of Servant Leaders: Transforming Leadership in a Post-Pandemic World

In the wake of the pandemic, the business landscape has transformed dramatically, bringing the leadership abilities of individuals into sharp focus. It’s been observed that “servant leaders,” those who prioritize the growth and well-being of their team members, often thrive in these challenging scenarios.

Regardless of the term we use, leaders who inspire and encourage their teams to excel are usually recognized through their actions – a testament to their character and integrity.

From our experience fostering such servant leadership, we’ve noticed these leaders don’t chase personal glory. Instead, they spotlight their team members, sharing their power for the collective benefit.

Here are six leadership behaviors demonstrated by servant leaders:

1. They prioritize others over themselves.

Great leaders understand that their role is primarily about catering to the needs of their team. They challenge the traditional, top-down management approach that prioritizes profit over people.

In a servant leadership culture, these leaders exhibit selflessness by placing their team’s interests before their own. This shift, while challenging, provides an unparalleled competitive edge. Leaders can manifest this selflessness by dedicating their time, energy, knowledge, and expertise to the growth of others, thereby improving themselves.

2. They are expert listeners.

Active listening is critical for building strong work relationships and achieving exceptional business outcomes. True communication involves more than speaking; it requires full attention and presence.

Although many believe they are good listeners, avoiding interruptions or not finishing others’ sentences can be challenging. This isn’t active listening.

Active listeners immerse themselves in the speaker’s narrative, ask questions with genuine curiosity, and explore conversations for deeper understanding, always considering the other person’s needs. This ties back to the first behavior.

3. They serve their team members.

To elevate your leadership impact, remember that leadership is about serving others and enhancing their potential. To gauge your alignment with servant leadership, ask yourself, “What am I doing daily to improve an employee’s life?” If you aim to empower others to be their best, you’re on the path to exceptional leadership.

4. They Empower Their Teams.

The cornerstone of servant leadership lies in empowering team members to make decisions and take ownership of their work. These leaders don’t merely delegate tasks; they entrust responsibilities and nurture an environment of trust and autonomy. They understand empowerment encourages creativity, innovation, and a sense of investment in the company’s success.

5. They Foster a Culture of Growth.

Servant leaders are deeply invested in their team members’ personal and professional growth. They make it a priority to provide development opportunities, mentorship, and continuous feedback. They recognize that the growth of individuals contributes directly to the organization’s growth.

6. They Lead with Empathy.

Servant leaders lead with empathy, ensuring they understand their team members’ experiences, perspectives, and challenges. This empathetic approach promotes a supportive, inclusive work environment and strengthens connections within the team.

To assess your leadership style, reflect on these behaviors: Are you empowering your team? Are you fostering a culture of growth? Are you leading with empathy? If so, you’re well on your way to embodying the principles of servant leadership.

In the ever-changing business landscape, this leadership style is not only beneficial—it’s vital. By prioritizing your team members’ needs and fostering their growth, you’re building a resilient, adaptive, and loyal team that will thrive no matter what challenges come your way.

If your organization wants to implement a leadership training program, Maximum Accountability is here to help. With our extensive experience working with numerous employees, we have successfully imparted leadership skills and empowered individuals to advance their careers. Reach out to us today and discover how we can assist your team in enhancing their leadership abilities and navigating successful career paths.

Identifying Ineffective Leadership: A Path to Improvement

Identifying Ineffective Leadership: A Path to Improvement

Identifying ineffective leadership may appear simple, but numerous organizations encounter employee engagement and retention challenges. While external factors such as the impact of Covid-19 or the state of the labor market are often pointed to as culprits, it is crucial to examine internal dynamics. The reality is that leadership, or the absence thereof, plays a substantial role in shaping the employee experience and turnover rates within an organization.

To shed light on these challenges, here are three signs organizations can look for to assess whether their leadership is negatively impacting employees:

Lack of Clarity in Expectations

Employees seek feedback and want to understand if they are meeting expectations. They desire a clear understanding of their role, specific goals, and their contributions align with organizational objectives. When expectations are unclear, team members become confused. They might feel uncertain about their performance, leading to low morale. Conversely, they might unknowingly underdeliver.

For teams to thrive, they need transparent expectations. If leaders or teams cannot articulate role expectations and their connection to corporate goals, it suggests a failure in leadership solely on outdated job descriptions is insufficient. Effective leaders establish clear and measurable next steps.

Lack of Terminations

A low termination rate might seem optimistic. It may be perceived as a sign of consistently good hiring or high employee engagement and productivity. If an organization rarely lets anyone go, it could indicate complacency.

This situation can severely harm teams. Hardworking employees who constantly pick up the slack or deal with undermining colleagues may become disillusioned. They question why they invest extra effort and why the organization tolerates poor performance.

Preventing a few bad apples from spoiling the bunch is crucial. Leaders must promptly address problematic individuals, even if it means letting them go.

Lack of Consensus on Success Metrics

Assessing leadership strength involves evaluating how leaders perceive success within the company. Diverse perspectives on success are natural, but it is the responsibility of the leadership team to communicate and establish cohesive, agreed-upon goals.
To gauge alignment, inquire about business priorities, core values, or quantifiable measures of success from various managers or leaders. If you receive inconsistent responses, it signifies a lack of alignment among leaders. This invariably leads to chaos and confusion, frustrating teams and impeding their performance.

Understanding Your Starting Point for Improvement of Ineffective Leadership

Examining our realities can be challenging but is essential for organizational growth. Identifying current strengths and weaknesses provides a foundation for improvement. Leadership teams are crucial in tactfully addressing these challenges and guiding development programs to yield results. Rather than viewing shortcomings as failures, they should be seen as opportunities for growth. With the right approach, organizational leaders can make a significant impact, helping teams reach their true potential.

Our team at Maximum Accountability has worked with hundreds of employees, teaching them leadership skills and enhancing their career paths. Please contact us if your organization wants to implement a leadership training program.

Leadership Challenges in the Workplace

Leadership Challenges in the Workplace

2022 was an interesting year for leaders, filled with many leadership challenges.

Unhealthy employee engagement and well-being contributed to the negative perception of disorderly workplaces worldwide. Some workers reevaluated their work lives, while others overhauled their jobs. Some people shared testimonials regarding “silent resignation,” “coasting at work,” and “soft firing” on social media as a way to communicate their discontent.

Many employees switched to “hybrid work,” spending time in the office and working from home. Relationships deteriorated. Managers ordered everyone to resume working full-time in extreme circumstances, and employees disobeyed.

Due to the impending continuation of the economic slump and the declining consumer confidence, there is significant concern about the future of the workplace. Leaders must adjust since our way of working and living has changed. Here are some critical areas in which our team suggests those in leadership roles focus some attention:

Leadership Challenges: Employee Engagement

The productivity, morale, growth, and retention of an organization’s staff depend on employee engagement. Engaged workers consistently achieve and stay on the job longer because they are enthusiastic and invested. Employee involvement had steadily increased in the US for ten years before the COVID-19 outbreak. But the pandemic persisted, and leadership initiatives failed.

The stagnation of employee engagement is one of the main issues facing businesses and entire economies as we approach 2023 and beyond.

Leadership Challenges: Office Environment

In the United States, more than half of full-time workers with remote work options work in a hybrid capacity. Just 2 out of 10 employees are currently entirely on-site, and only 6% of remote-capable workers want to work exclusively on-site in the future.

Asking employees where they work best will be critical to “making hybrid work work” in the future. When a worker’s chosen work location differs from their actual location, employee engagement falls dramatically, they are more likely to burn out, and they are more likely to quit their job.

Hybrid teams must learn to effectively plan their calendars to enhance teamwork and meet client needs. Hybrid workers are more engaged when work schedules and policies are jointly established by the team rather than the corporation or an individual.

Leadership Challenges: Workplace culture

Hybrid workers feel more part of their organization’s culture than entirely on-site employees. This challenges the idea that “the workplace” and “culture” are inseparable. Even with the effectiveness of face-to-face contacts, hybrid employees are better off from more planned offline and online experiences. They might think their organization values and trusts them more by having greater autonomy, strengthening their bond with their employer.

With the help of hybrid work, employers and employees can clarify their expectations, and enterprises can exit “default mode.” In light of the modern hybrid workplace, many leaders will be pushed to reevaluate their workplace cultures. It will be necessary to reinvent the “why” and “how” that underpin the work techniques, guidelines, and standards. Above all, we suggest creating an atmosphere where workers feel more involved in creating the new culture.

The benefits for organizations committed to developing a strong workplace culture that emphasizes employee engagement and well-being include improved productivity, profitability, and customer growth. They outperform their less dedicated competitors, especially during economic downturns. If your organization has questions about improving the workplace and productivity in 2023, please contact us. Our leadership experts can help you design and implement a plan to meet your business objectives.

Setting Your Team Up for Success

Setting Your Team Up for Success

In your business, you must work toward setting your team up for success. For your business to succeed, it requires a great team, but powerful teams don’t just happen.

As a leader, it is your duty to assemble a formidable group of team members. But, identifying the right people is just part of the success equation. You also need to consider the following management strategies.

Identify the individual’s natural ability and allow them to focus on it.

Every team member is a master at something. If Pamela loves social media marketing, why not let her run a brand-new LinkedIn campaign? If Jamie enjoys sales and identifying new opportunities, why not place him in a role that offers incentives when closing new business?

Identifying those unique talents allows the team member to concentrate on what they do best. This will lead to increased retention and productivity.

Communication is key to setting your team up for success.

Consistent communication is essential for building a team. Speaking to the group as a whole and each individual falls under this. We recommend you make regular appointments for weekly one-on-one meetings with each team leader. Review wins and challenges and discuss how they are tracking against goals and objectives. We also recommend you establish a weekly team meeting to recognize accomplishments, establish team priorities and foster an environment of sharing ideas.

Get comfortable with altering your management style to fit the needs of team members.

Even if you want to be a hands-on manager, your team might prefer you to work as a support person behind the scenes. They may feel micromanaged if you insist on being hands-on with a hands-off employee. As a result, every leader should ascertain how their employees desire to be treated and adjust their approach.

For instance, would your staff prefer daily check-ins or simply meeting when necessary? You can strengthen your team by identifying how they like to be supported.

Team members will ultimately produce their greatest work with the right amount of support, which can provide them the autonomy and motivation they need to accomplish their best work.

Our team at Maximum Accountability helps leaders increase productivity, attract top talent, and improve the employee experience. All of these goals are possible with strong leadership. If you are ready to crush your goals this year, it is time to take action. From self-study to on-site workshops, we offer several options to help your organization reach new levels of success. Contact us today; we look forward to hearing from you.

Leadership Needs Coaching Too

Leadership Needs Coaching Too

As your company grows from its early stages, you’ll have to take on new roles and responsibilities as the founder. This means coaching your employees and getting the coaching you need to be an effective leader. Here’s why founders need leadership coaching, too — and how you can use it to strengthen your business at all stages.

Startup Stage

When starting a company, founders often direct all their attention to launching their product or service at the expense of personal development. As a result, they miss opportunities to learn new skills and hone their existing ones. What’s more, they’re unable to help their employees do the same.

The success of the company at this stage often depends on how well the founder makes decisions, moves quickly, and hires the right team. Leadership coaching in this stage is crucial — even amounting to a “secret startup superpower” — because it helps founders learn how to set their companies up for success. It also enables them to begin stepping into coaching and mentorship roles for their employees. This can be extremely important as your team grows and evolves.

Growth Stage

As your company grows, your team will grow, too. As a leader, you will need people skills to help your team navigate both triumphs and setbacks — both of which are inevitable.

Developing those skills requires leadership coaching, so you can effectively scale yourself into a mentorship role. As you step into that role, you can use the coaching you’ve received to coach your employees.

The best part? The more you hone your leadership skills, the more your employees will grow confident in your leadership ability. In turn, they will trust that you have the skills to manage, delegate, and develop the team. Simply put, they will feel comfortable focusing on their jobs, knowing there’s a strong leader at the helm.

Late Stages

The founder may take a step away from day-to-day processes in late-stage companies. As you do so, it’s important that you know how to motivate and inspire your team members, so they can successfully carry out tasks on their own.

Here’s where human-focused skills become even more critical. As cross-functional relationships develop throughout the company, leaders must help facilitate seamless communications and collaboration. For work to get done, peers need to work together and a great leader to guide the way — making leadership coaching more crucial than ever for the company founder.

Leaders Need Coaching at Every Stage

In order to grow and evolve as a successful leader, leadership coaching is essential. Coaching at each stage can help entrepreneurs strike a balance between their personal needs and those of their company and its team.

If you’re looking to take your organization to the next level of success as you grow, contact us at Maximum Accountability. With our help, you can conquer goals at every stage and propel your business to new heights.

Do You Lead with Accountability?

Do You Lead with Accountability?

According to research, about 72% of business leaders believe that accountability is integral to their organizations. However, only over 30% said their leaders lead with it. The thing is, if you want to be successful, you need to lead with accountability.

What does that mean? It means being responsible for your actions and ensuring you meet your goals. It means taking ownership of success or failure. Too many people try to blame others, but a true leader takes responsibility for their actions. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can become a more accountable person.

The Importance of Accountability

Leaders are the backbone of any organization. They set the tone for the company and ensure everyone is working towards the goal. Accountability is one of the essential qualities of a leader. When leaders are accountable, it sets a precedent for the rest of the organization and shows that they’re committed to their goals. Here’s why leadership accountability matters.

Promotes a Positive Work Environment

When leaders are accountable, it creates a positive work environment where employees feel appreciated and valued. Employees who feel their efforts are recognized are more likely to be engaged and productive. On the other hand, when leaders are not accountable, poor leadership can lead to a toxic work environment where employees feel like their hard work is going unnoticed.

Improves Communication

Communication is key to any organization, but it’s crucial for leaders. Accountable leaders take the time to listen to their employees and understand their needs. This open line of communication fosters mutual respect between leaders and employees and helps to create a more cohesive working relationship.

Increases Productivity

When leaders are accountable, it leads to increased productivity across the board. In addition, employees feel motivated to work harder when they know their efforts will be recognized and rewarded. Accountability also leads to better time management as leaders are more likely to focus on tasks that will significantly impact the company’s bottom line.

How to Lead with Accountability

When you lead with accountability, you create a culture of engagement within your organization. This can have a positive ripple effect on employee morale, productivity, and overall success. Here are some tips on how to lead with accountability in organizations:

Communicate Openly and Honestly with Your Team Members

When you are clear about expectations and give people the information they need to succeed, it helps build trust and creates a more positive work environment. Furthermore, honest communication will help to prevent misunderstandings and errors.

Take Responsibility for Your Words and Actions

This includes owning up to your mistakes and learning from them. It is also important to be open to feedback from others so you can continue to grow and improve as a leader.

Encourage Others to Do the Same

You can set the example yourself and ensure accountability is included in your organization’s core values. You can also reinforce accountability by providing constructive feedback and offering opportunities for growth and development.

Hold Yourself and Others Accountable

This means following through on your commitments and holding team members accountable for their words and actions. When people know they will be held accountable for their decisions, they are more likely to take responsibility for their choices.

Figure Out What Needs Improvement

After some time has passed, evaluating what needs improvement about being held accountable within the workplace is vital. This could look like anything from reflecting on what changes need to occur to prevent future conflict to losing or gaining teamwork skills.

A Guide to Leading with Accountability

Leading with accountability is one of the most crucial leadership skills an individual can possess. You take responsibility for your actions and decisions, as well as the actions and decisions of your team.

If you want to learn more about how to lead with accountability, purchase a copy of Maximum Accountability or enroll in our in-person or self-study workshop. Whichever you choose, you will learn everything you need to know about accountability in leadership.